- Editor’s Introduction
Welcome to our twelfth year of JSR! When we began the journal, we thought that since there was no other publication devoted to the interdisciplinary study of radicalism, there must be an audience. We were right. Today, the terrain has dramatically changed for scholarly journals, nearly all access for which is online. When we began, this was not the case. But we have continued to adapt to the changing conditions, and as a result, JSR continues to thrive through ever-increasing online access and thousands of downloads a year from around the world.
This issue begins with two articles on North American radicalism. The first, called “‘God Has Opened the Eyes of the People’: Religious Rhetoric and the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837,” is a study by James Forbes of the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837 and its religious origins and implications. This is a detailed, careful historical examination of how a group of reformers became radicalized during the years 1837–1838, and the role that religious rhetoric played in the reformers’ transformation into revolutionaries. This transformation, of course, turns on a distinction central to JSR from the beginning: that between radicalism and reformism. JSR, like the article, explores the relationship between these two, but always with an emphasis on radicalism.
The second article, “Before Trump: On Comparing Trumpism and Fascism” by Brett Colasacco, also explores radicalism in a North American context by considering a contemporary example, that of Donald J. Trump and his [End Page v] populist nationalism. Colasacco focuses in particular on the question of how the U.S. President and his presidential campaign can be understood in relation to scholarship on fascism, especially those works which refer to the “sacralization” of politics, myth-making, and civic religion. Ultimately, Colasacco suggests, “Trumpism” shares some interesting cultural territory with “palingenetic ultranationalism.” Of course, whether or to what extent movements of the right are indeed radical as understood in this journal, or whether they are fundamentally conservative, remains to be seen.
Our third article, “A Transnational Embrace: Issei Radicalism in 1920s New York” by Daniel Inouye, continues the theme of North American radicalisms, this time looking at Japanese radicalism in 1920s New York. Like the first two articles, this one also raises questions of what constitutes radicalism or reformism, and what is an amalgam of the two. This is a relatively understudied chapter in American radicalism, and Inouye provides a clear survey of it.
Our fourth article, “Student Mobilizations in Canada and the United States: Resistance to the Neoliberalization of Higher Education,” is also on radicalism in North America, in this case student mobilizations in higher education. In it, Victoria Carty discusses recent student protest movements and the extent to which they can be considered reformist or radical, interpreting them with an eye to cultural theories of social movements as well as the role of digital media.
Our final article is Timo Schrader’s “Education as a Human Right: The Real Great Society and a Pedagogy of Activism,” on the “Real Great Society,” a Puerto Rican radical group in New York City in the changing national and international contexts of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Schrader pays particular attention to the contexts of theoretical and practical texts on radicalism from the left during this period, especially the works of figures like Paolo Freire and Paul Goodman.
The issue concludes with a series of book reviews that I think you will find of considerable variety and interest, looking at recent books on twentieth-century public intellectuals and radicalism; German anarchism and the early twentieth-century Green movement; a recent book on “radicals, revolutionaries, and terrorists”; a historical approach to the comparative study of revolutions and revolutionaries; and the gendering of radicalism in twentieth-century communist movements. If you want to stay up on literature in this area, JSR is a good place to come visit on a regular basis. [End Page vi]
As always, JSR seeks to provide a forum for the scholarly and dispassionate analyses of radicalisms of many kinds and from many different perspectives. We continue to welcome a steady stream of excellent articles and remain the only journal in the world that focuses...